Our Staff

Meet the staff of Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association

Pippa Hodge

Pippa Hodge is one of the founding staff members of VTEA, a CanTRA Coach and Examiner, and a Registered Physiotherapist specializing in Clinical Hippotherapy.

Julie Matijiw, Head InstructorJulie Matijiw, our Program Manager, has been involved showing and training horses for most of her life. Julie has been with VTEA since 1996 and is currently a CanTRA II certified instructor.

Talented in all areas of horsemanship, Julie’s particular gift is understanding the non-verbal communication between horse and human. Julie has achieved Rider Level 5 Equine Canada Status, and is certified in Equine Massage.

Kim CadiganKim Cadigan’s life-long passion for recreation led her to obtain a Bachelor of Recreation Degree at Brock University and a post graduate diploma specializing in therapeutic recreation at Georgian College. In 2012, after many years working as a recreation therapist, Kim made the move to BC. Wanting to make connections within the therapeutic community, she decided to volunteer at a therapeutic riding stable and her love for equine therapeutic riding was born. Kim completed her CanTRA Basic Instructor certification in 2017. Kim enjoys working toward shared goals with her riders, volunteers and therapy horse team at Valley Therapeutic.

Lindy Meyer, Instructor

Lindy Mayer is a CanTRA Basic Instructor and has her own horse, Rosie, in the VTEA program. Rosie was awarded Therapy Horse of the Year by CanTRA in 2020. We feel very honoured and privileged to have Rosie as a part of our therapy herd!

Lindy has 15+ years experience working with the District 43 Special Education Department and is currently the Braille Transcriber for the District. Lindy is very active in community support work specializing in autism and works with children of all ages and abilities.

In her spare time, Lindy engages in many hobbies such as jewelry making, wood working, fibre arts, drawing and painting. She has always been an animal enthusiast and recently added a very special Red-Footed Tortoise to her family. Welcome to the family, Tortellini!!

Kim Yawney, instructorKim Yawney came to VTEA as a volunteer in August 2008 and in October was hired on as Office Coordinator. In 2010 she started with fill-in teaching for the instructors, got her certification in 2013, and continues to teach now.

Kim has 4 horses of her own and knows how therapeutic they are to her life. The best part of her job is seeing the bright eyes, smiles, confidence and self-esteem that horses bring to riders.

Equine Staff

Mackenzie Faye – Equine Manager
Emma Friesen

Sophia Hummelman
Corinne Popienko

Office Staff

    Carol Jenne

Natasha Minhell – Volunteer Coordinator & Promotions and Engagement Manager
Natasha is a writer and a graduate of UBC’s Political Science (Honours) program. She has three year’s of experience working in the nonprofit sector, and seven years as part of a choral nonprofit in Edmonton, Alberta. She also co-founded and co-directed Equal Voice’s first West Coast campus club branch at UBC and led successful fundraising campaigns as Indigo Langley’s Love of Reading Champion. Natasha believes wholeheartedly in equine therapy as a means to unravelling one’s knots and uncovering one’s personal truth(s). She credits an old, proud chestnut sire named Prince that she rode when she was little, with helping to teach her the value of being authentically herself. Natasha is now very proud to serve as VTEA’s Volunteer Coordinator and Promotions and Engagement Manager.

Interested in joining our team? Check out our Job Postings.